WENATCHEE — Six years, a lawsuit and $1 million later, Larry Scrivanich wants one thing in his quest to expand Mission Ridge Ski and Board Resort.
“We’re not asking for anything from the county or the Chelan County taxpayers,” said Scrivanich, who owns Mission Ridge under the corporate name Tamarack Saddle. “Just follow the law, and follow the code. That’s all we’re asking.”
When the ski area and resort expansion was proposed in 2015, General Manager Josh Jorgensen figured it would be about two years before construction could begin.
“It was a little naïve,” Scrivanich said. “We learned a lot.”
The expansion plan includes new lodging, restaurants and homes, as well as more skiing trails and other amenities.
In total, the project would add 613 condominiums, townhomes and duplexes, combined, and 260 single-family units built in four phases over 20 years. The expansion also includes commercial space.
“It addresses the things at Mission that need to be addressed so that the ski resort can have a long life ahead of it,” Jorgensen said.
Jorgensen said expanding Mission Ridge has been discussed since its inception. Attempts in the 1980s and 1990s were unsuccessful.
“I don’t know if that’s what’s going on here today and now,” he said, “But there’s huge community support for this project and Mission Ridge.”
The plans began in 2015 with the formation of an advisory board, Scrivanich said, including Mike Kaputa, director of Chelan County natural resources. As plans took shape, Mission Ridge representatives then met with Chelan County officials.
The county’s initial response to the application was positive, according to Scrivanich, who says he was told the project could move forward as proposed.
Instead, then-interim Community Development Director Deanna Walter told Jorgensen and Scrivanich in March 2020 that the project triggered a lengthy and expensive review process. Scrivanich said he was told the project’s size was the reason. No other details have been forthcoming.
Jorgensen said the county’s application process has been “disjointed, exceedingly costly and time-consuming.”
“It is not that Mission Ridge does not value the environmental review process — it does,” Jorgensen said. “It is that the process must be fair and consistent under the existing laws and statutes for us and for everyone else as well.”
Scrivanich said the confusion is partially from staff turnover in the county’s community development department. Eight county staff members have overseen the project so far.
“We are left guessing what the county wants,” Jorgensen said.
Tamarack filed a $6.4 million lawsuit in Douglas County Superior Court against Chelan County in September. The lawsuit claims the county has interfered with the expansion efforts. Kaputa also is listed as a defendant.
The county and Kaputa both declined to comment for this story because of the lawsuit.
Chelan County filed its response to the lawsuit Nov. 8 denying the allegations and asking for the lawsuit to be dismissed. Kaputa offered a similar response weeks later.